According to a new British national survey of more than 2000 adults over 65 and published by Robert Stewart, MD, of King's College London, and Vasant Hirani, MSc, of University College London in the United Kingdom, in the September issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, vitamin D deficiency is associated with depression—and the more severe the deficiency, the higher the likelihood of depression. "Although vitamin D deficiency has been investigated in relationship to mental disorders in younger adults, relatively little research has investigated this association in older people, despite the higher potential impact," the study authors write. It’s important to note that this was an observational, not a clinical study, which is far more vigorous, but the authors believe that their findings support following up with that type of study. Other than through fortified milk and other dairy products, getting vitamin D from diet alone is a challenge. The body can produce it from sun exposure, but this might not always be possible for seniors with limited mobility or motivation to walk outside or who live in northern climates during the winter.
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